It's been a
while since my last, and first, spooky movie review. I've been using the
time to reflect upon the impact that Ax 'Em
has made on contemporary society, and how Michael Mfume has finally made
it big as an actor/director in Hollywood. Now, though, in honor of the
Halloween season, and because I haven't written anything substantial for
the site in months, I am obligated to bring forth another burnt offering
to the gods of garbage horror films.
As with my first one, I was concerned that I would have trouble finding a
suitable specimen, but as it turns out, Blockbuster video has at least two
god-awful scary movies per letter of the alphabet in their vast "New"
Releases section. Since the S section was just outside of the PS2 aisle,
it was decided that I would be making my selection from that particular
letter. Today's movie is a tale of grotesque, but cheap, special effects
and allegedly "remastered" footage. An eye-biting bit of cinematic
frottage entitled Street Zombies!
Before I go any further, I feel that it's worth mentioning that this
particular crap movie included a commentary by the director. Oh, lucky me,
I thought to myself upon making this discovery. Perhaps he'll be ready to
explain some of the more confusing aspects as well as some of the cheaper
special effects. Of course, the movie itself is about an hour and a half
long, and I was not interested in the least to sit there and listen to the
director's asinine stories for that long, so I just skipped to the parts
where commentary would be almost required to explain just what the hell is
going on and what the hell the director/writer/producer/actors/whoever was
thinking when they made a certain scene.
That said, onto the review:
scene in the big city: a junkie is out looking for his next score amidst
colored lighting and piles of cardboard boxes. His dealer tells him that
he's got something new for him to try, and then gives it to him without
asking for anything in return. What a prince.
Back at the
junkie's secret basement lair, he melts the little black pebbles from the
vial and prepares to inject them into his arm. After tying himself off,
though, he draws back the needle and stabs himself right in the elbow
joint. Now, I'm not a doctor or anything, but I'm fairly sure that you
don't need a windup when injecting something. Maybe it's a part of getting
Unfortunately, it turns out that injecting a black liquid made from rocks
you got from a creepy drug dealer is not a great idea. Our man's veins
start to stand at attention, and his neck starts to bubble up like a
bullfrog. All this, however, leads to the movie's first defining moment:
His head goes off like a watermelon full of m-80s. You can even see his
rubbery face being tossed aside by the explosion. Not a bad way to
introduce the title graphic, if I do say so myself.
meet the two protagonists of the film, Mike and Eddie. Don't get too
attached to Mike, though. As it turns out, they're on a stakeout, looking
for a drug dealer named Richter. As luck would have it, Richter is meeting
with a customer approximately twenty feet from Eddie's car.
Richter is in the middle of his meeting with "Squeaky." The significance
of this "Squeaky" character is never explained in the movie. I guess he's
just another relative who contributed money to this awful film. Anyway, he
tells Richter that he's "hurtin'," and that he brought what Richter
wanted: the two cops parked in view of their little meeting. Pleased,
Richter gives his little helper monkey a vial full of the head-smattering
"Ozone". Once he does, Eddie and Mike come out to make the arrest. They
tell Richter to freeze, but they're good enough sports to give him time to
draw his own weapon, and they exchange fire briefly. Squeaky just looks on
calmly (though confusedly) as the bullets start flying, and finally takes
off once Richter is gunned down. Mike runs after him while Eddie goes over
to rifle through Richter's pockets.
quite dead yet, though, and manages to grab Eddie and stabs him with a
syringe. I swear, this movie is full of improper syringe usage. Anyway,
for the sake of plot, let's just assume that stabbing and injecting are
analogous. Richter declares, "have a nice trip, asshole," and dies.
Mike has pursued Squeaky into a building equipped with long hallways and
neon colored lighting. He looks around, and somebody steps out into the
pink lighting! Oh, the suspense! A few other shadowy characters join the
first in the pink, and start shambling towards him. Mike barks orders,
brandishes his gun, and basically does everything the scared cop is
supposed to do in zombie movies.
loping zombie. Mike yells at him and then shoots him, only to realize that
he's not human! Oh, the terror! Said terror is lessened slightly when the
zombie starts to slowly stumble towards Mike as if he were trying to carry
an invisible big screen TV. Oh but it's back up again when a zombie sneaks
up on Mike from behind.
commando zombie lops off Mike's hand with a shard of glass. Had I known
back when I was a kid that broken glass could easily slice through skin
and bone, I wouldn't have spent hours playing with handfuls of the stuff.
Well the countdown is on for poor old Mike. He grabs his stump and howls
and pain before fleeing to a storage room.
Unfortunately, Mike's brilliant plan of bracing the door by leaning a
two-by-four against it fails when the zombies punch through it, and also
because the board slides off because he didn't brace the damned thing at
all. Man, some people just can't cope at all with the sudden lose of a
hand. Anyway, the zombies bust through the upper half of the door, and
Mike screams like a woman when he sees them. We'll miss you, Mike.
"Well, you screwed the pooch this time, Eddie!"
Back at the
crime scene, Eddie gets a pep talk from the captain, during which the
above caption is uttered. I wasn't aware that screwing the pooch was a bad
thing. I mean, I didn't think that Eddie's performance warranted
pooch-screwing. I mean… Let's just change the subject. The captain is
surprisingly unconcerned about the fact that one of his men didn't come
back from pursuing his suspect, but life is tough out on the streets, and
sometimes, you need to just cut your losses when it comes to your staff.
Back at the station, Eddie gets chewed out even more by Chief Hamface. The
captain says that he needs to talk some time off because he's been making
mistakes, like walking right into that whole syringe debacle. They
exchange some second-rate cop dialogue, oddly enough without saying, "by
the book" even once, and Eddie storms off. Right into the film's next
to the bathroom, presumably to wash the captain's spittle off of his face.
And then, the fun begins:
starts bleeding like crazy, and he is soon sitting against the wall, beset
by cheap morphing effects…
… like this one.
some chunks of something appear on the floor.
this happens, for some reason.
And in the
end, his eyes just fall out and he collapses in a pool of watery blood.
god it was all a dream! Maybe this has something to do with that drug
dealer injecting me with a mystery chemical. Maybe I should contact a
doctor, or something. Nah. He just grabs himself a beer and he's ready to
face another day. By the way, who the hell sleeps in bicycle shorts?
drives off, we get an exterior shot of the building where Mike ate it, and
then a shot of the house's occupant: a big sack of crap with poor taste in
jewelry. Ah, foreshadowing for dummies.
Meanwhile, Mike heads back to the crime scene for a look around. He
locates that house, and finds his badge just in front of the door, so
he steps inside for a look around. Amidst the awful lighting, he finds a
dead body and a severed finger. Which I will not show you. After all, you
just saw Eddie pull a stunt like the Nazi from the end of Raiders of the
Lost Ark. I think you deserve better than a puny corpse and a finger.
After the finger-finding room, however, he meets a zombie who, after
asking if Eddie's been "transformed," utters a truly memorable line:
"You smell… like a brother!"
Somebody call the NAACP. The director had nothing to say about this line
in the commentary. Now, giving the benefit of the doubt, that was meant to
mean that Eddie smelled like one of the zombies, but come on. Eddie
excuses himself from this weird situation, but falls through a weak spot
in the floor as he's backtracking. In the floor below, there are a few
more bodies, but again, you've certainly come to expect better than a few
measly corpses by now. Bottom line: nothing else happens and Eddie
His next stop in his investigation is Mike's apartment.
yelling at Mike's door for a minute, Eddie asks the janitor if she has the
key. They squabble like a married couple for a bit, but she eventually
lets him in. That reminded me that I need to talk with my landlady about
not letting people into my home after they annoy her for a bit. Inside,
the master detective discovers nothing helpful, until the answering
machine announces itself. As it turns out, Mike has three messages: one
from another detective, one from his mother, and one from a zombie that
sounds remarkably like Popeye the sailorman. The message itself, though,
is more for Eddie, as Popeye makes a few death threats about ripping out
Eddie's intestines, and stuffing him into a can of spinach.
was a productive stop. Back at Eddie's car, a beat cop tells him that
they're looking for him back at the station. Once he gets Eddie out of the
car, however, the gloves come off. It turns out that the cop was also
allied with the zombies, and he's got a needle full o' the stuff for
Eddie. A light kick in the groin, however, tosses the cop aside.
more surprising that the vulnerability of the zombie cop's groin, is that
after being shoved backwards, he's almost hit by a speeding car. In a
parking lot! It misses him, but after a little more fighting, another
speeding car shows up and this one hits him! What the hell? Even better
than the speeders, however, is the coup de grace:
A third, and
final, speeding car comes along and flattens the cop's head like a
football. In the commentary, the director mentions that he used to get
teased a lot about "the parking lot scene." I can't imagine why. The
driver of the car and some other guy who comes in from off camera look at
the body, shocked at the events that just transpired. Whether they're
shocked because of the death, or because the driver saw the man well
before she crushed his head remains uncertain.
Eddie's next stop is a dive bar full of colorful patrons.
two gentlemen. For a while, everything seems to be going alright. Sure,
the bartender is eye-balling him a bit, and the crowd seems a little worse
for wear, and sure, "That Achy Breaky Song" (the equally nauseating parody
of "Achy Breaky Heart) is playing in the background, but at least no one's
trying to kill him. At least not until he finds another junkie doing Ozone
and coming apart in the bathroom. Then, things get ugly.
Now I'd be
scared too if I were in Eddie's shoes, a black man receiving angry stares
from a crowd of angry white people in bar playing country music,
especially after hearing that line about smelling like a brother. Luck is
with Eddie, however, and instead of being killed outright, he is carried
off to an arena, presumably in the bar's basement.
Eddie an axe handle with a buzzsaw blade at the end of it, and tell him to
fight off a muscular guy with an identical weapon. Again, maybe I'm
looking into this too much, but is there some sort of undertone when two
black guys fight to the death in front of a bunch of white people
underneath a country bar? Anyway, Eddie triumphs, and when the zombies
start freaking out, he grabs his shirt and escapes through a hole in the
out of the hole, he meets Justine, a woman who claims to be living in the
tunnels. Boy, living in the tunnels under a bar. And you thought you had
it rough. I have to say, though, Justine is easily the worst actress in
this fingerpress of a movie. Still, when she starts creepily flirting with
Eddie, he goes along with it. Even when she starts to lick his syringe
nasty, huh? Not to mention that the director points out that the stuff
used for the wound is not edible. Well, the wound-licking seems to be
working nicely for Eddie, though. Weirdo. What happens next, though… I
just don't know.
the movie make a sudden turn and somehow
become an absolutely brilliant cinematic masterpiece?
CONTINUE TO PAGE 2 TO FIND OUT!
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